Thursday, June 2, 2016

ARC Review: With Malice by Eileen Cook

With Malice
Author: Eileen Cook
Publication: HMH Books for Young Readers (June 7, 2016)

Description: For fans of We Were Liars and The Girl on the Train comes a chilling, addictive psychological thriller about a teenage girl who cannot remember the last six weeks of her life.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron's senior trip to Italy was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. And then the accident happened. Waking up in a hospital room, her leg in a cast, stitches in her face, and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be, Jill comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident in her travels abroad. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident...wasn't an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

My Thoughts: This was a very entertaining story that kept me guessing all the way through. Jill Charron wakes up to find herself in a hospital with a broken leg and a brain injury that has wiped out the last six weeks of her life. She also has aphasia and difficulty remembering familiar words. Jill doesn't know that time has passed and is worried that she won't be able to go on her trip of a lifetime to Italy. She is also distressed that her best friend Simone hasn't contacted or visited her.

Her parents, who haven't spent much time together since her father left her mother for a younger woman, are finally forced to tell her that she had been in a car accident in Italy with Simone and that Simone died. But there is worse news yet, the Italian police are convinced that Jill murdered her friend Simone.

Jill can't believe that happened. She and Simone had been best friends since fourth grade. They weren't really alike. Jill was from an affluent family and Simone was not. Jill was quiet and studious and a little bit shy. Simone liked to be the center of attention and was charismatic. Nonetheless they were best friends.

While Jill is in the rehab hospital trying to get physically better and perhaps to recover some of her memories, she is being tried in the court of public opinion. At first, she is vilified. Every one of her Facebook posts is analyzed by people looking to see signs that she killed Simone. Experts, who never met her, were glad to appear on television and share their opinions about her state of mind and the state of the friendship.

The story is partially told in blog posts and police reports but mostly from Jill's point of view as she tries to find out what happened. I was wondering too as I followed the plot and I am still wondering as I finished the book.

Have you read this one? I want to talk about it.

Favorite Quote:
I was finally pushed up to the table, and Evan slid over a glass of water. We'd rehearsed that I should pause and take a sip anytime I wasn't sure how to answer a question. That would be his cue to help me out. I hoped I wouldn't drink so much water that have have to ask for a bathroom break. I didn't want anyone to think a weak bladder was a sign of weak character in general.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I've just started it, so give me a few days and we'll talk!

  2. Sounds like a good one. This could be taken right from the news. You mention, still wondering. Did the author wrap this up or leave you hanging?


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